Tonight I shall see in the New Year in the traditional British way by severely punishing my liver with copious amounts of alcoholic beverages. Hopefully there will also be some chocolate involved. If not, then never mind, as I’m sure the Tesco’s Value whiskey will see me through just fine.
The New Year is a chance to start again. But I think that in this day and age people forget to work on the most important things, and instead aim for grand revolutions that are simply unrealistic and overly ambitious. Alternatively, people set themselves a challenge, but forget to think about how they could go about accomplishing it in little steps, thus making it much harder for them to achieve their goals. Every year, when I write my New Year’s Resolutions, I think to myself, “I’m never going to manage this”, and, of course, I’m right. This year, when I make my plan, I shall try to focus on how I will actually fulfil each resolution. Here they are.
1. Stop biting my nails. Here’s one grand sweeping statement. But what I will do is cut down slowly, by first of all limiting it to my left hand, and then limiting it to my middle finger, and then stopping once and for all. If I manage this I can literally do anything.
2. Go to the gym. I hate exercise. I prefer books and chocolate. But I hereby vow that on Mondays, after games, I will go to the gym at school and read whilst on the treadmill. If I have an incentive to go, like a quiet half an hour of Hemingway, I may be able to convince myself that exercise is fun.
3. Eat an apple a day. No way am I going to say that I’ll eat five portions of fruit and veg a day. I will eat an apple. But only if it’s crunchy and green.
4. Do my homework on time. Dear Lord. The essays simply pile up. But, if I break them into little sections, for example making the plan when it’s set, writing the introduction the next day, and then the next paragraph the next day and so on, I may be able to keep on top of it.
5. Stop fighting with my family. When they are annoying, leave the room. Or do breathing exercises. Or something. And bear in mind that if you tell them to shove the hell off, they could ground you, and that would be sad.
6. Don’t overuse Facebook. I may find a way on my PC to limit myself to half an hour a day on certain websites (I shall include YouTube in this). Alternatively, block it until after 10pm so that I have to do my homework first. Or just delete my account . . . oh no, wait, sorry, not going to happen.
7. Read more. I suppose this will be one of the side effects of less Facebook. Instead of staying up on the computer every night, I shall read a nice story. Simples.
8. Practise cello more. Oh my days, how shall I accomplish this one. I hereby set myself the challenge of half an hour a day, ESPECIALLY on Wednesdays when I have my lesson, as if I don’t do it then I shall leave it in its case all week.
9. Drink less alcohol. Starting from tomorrow, of course. Tonight is New Year’s Eve. Give me a break. But when I get very drunk I do very silly things that I later on regret, so I shall limit myself to one beer at parties and be done with it.
10. Don’t stab stupid people. Nuff said.
I reckon 2011 has been my best and worst year yet. On the downside, I’ve had GCSEs, bitchy friends, a screw-up of a love affair, a hell of a lot of family drama, and disappointment left, right and centre. On the other hand, I did bloody well in my exams, made some excellent new friends, started a really quite nice love affair, have some good times with my family, and went to Israel and Greece. I don’t think I’ve done too badly. And neither has the world, which may have struggled through a mighty financial recession and had millions of people being murdered in uprisings all over the Middle East and Africa, horrible violence in the riots in the UK, an earthquake in Japan, a massacre in Norway and demonstrations all over the place, but still managed to chug out a political revolution, independence in South Sudan, a treaty between India and Pakistan, water on Mars, the homecoming (finally) of Gilad Shalit, the end of the Iraq War, seven billion people on the planet, and a royal wedding to boot. Plus Dougie from McFly won I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, and Little Mix didn't get the Christmas No. 1.
When things look shit, just check the Wikipedia page, and you’ll find a million happy things that you’d forgotten about. We gravitate towards the gloomy. It’s in our nature. Learn to fight it. There’s my lesson for the New Year.
Happy New Year, and see y’all in 2012.